Tommy Hanson should have more wins this season, but the lack of run support during his starts has affected his record. However, he continues to give the Braves productive starts.
The Braves magic number is currently 26 after losing 3-1 in a Labor Day afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Hanson kept the Braves in the game despite one mistake. After the game, the second-year pitcher spoke to reporters after the game.
“For the most part I felt good with all my pitches, I was throwing all my pitches both sides of the plate. I think early on I could have done a better job of keeping the ball down, but I think I did a better job after those first couple innings. Just that one big pitch that hurt me – 1-0 to (Neil) Walker. I was trying to go fastball in and just left it out over the plate and it was up.”
Every game is an important game in September for the resilient Braves, and right now Pittsburgh, one of this year’s worst teams is trying to play spoiler.
The Pirates’ Brian Burres who hadn’t started a game in over three months was able to handcuffed the Braves for six innings on one run and scattered five hits -and Neal Walker’s homer in the bottom of the sixth off losing pitcher Tommy Hanson, who is now 9 and 11, gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead and eventual win.
Catch David Ross had commented to the Atlanta Journal Constitution on the 3-1 loss to the Pirates and Hanson’s gritty pitching performance:
“We left a lot guys on base it just didn’t happen for us. Tommy (Hanson) threw well but we couldn’t get that big hit, couldn’t get the ball to fall. Just one of those days, I guess. Frustrating. You get a good pitching performance like that, playing a team that you feel like you can beat but it’s the big leagues, any given day anybody can win. We’ve just got to figure out a way to win, especially on days like today.”
Atlanta’s miracles Braves had chances to draw closer late. However, third baseman Pedro Alvarez made a All-Star type play to nullify an Atlanta rally in the seventh when Martin Prado’s excuse me swing that resulted in a slow dribbler was corralled for the third out of the inning.
Usually, the Braves are able to make relievers pay late in games, but the combination of Chris Resop, Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan were able to quiet the Braves’ bats in the 8th and 9th innings.
The Braves’ Labor Day loss was the fourth in five games, but the Atlanta team still remains in first place in the NL East and has been in that position every day since May 31.